[announce] git-annex

Joey Hess joey at kitenet.net
Wed Oct 20 19:15:55 CEST 2010

Yaroslav Halchenko wrote:
> does it also mean, that in the case of a separate branch, I could use
> 'annexed' repository alongside with a regular GIT repository at the same
> location which would contain the development tree with large files
> moved under annex control?

You do not need a separate branch or repository to do that. 
Just check in the files you want to revision control normally, and
git annex add the big files that are inappropriate for normal git use,
in the same branch of the same repository.

The main issue with branching is as follows: Suppose you create branch B
from master, and then switch back to master for a while. Now you create
a new clone of that repository on another drive, and some of your
annexed files end up there. In the master branch of the original
repository, git-annex knows about the new drive what files are there.
Now if you switch to branch B, it won't know about the new drive, so
won't know how to get some files. You'd have to merge master into B for
it to get an update to its worldview.

> why am I asking -- one of the problems in neuroimaging software
> development is the reliance on large datafiles necessary for various
> parts of the development or deployment process.  Inclusion of those into
> a source tree repository makes it really heavy (real story:
> recently converted 4.5GB CVS repository into a 3.5GB GIT one; it shrinks
> to 100MB if major data files get stripped down. project has been
> developing since early 90s).  So, I wondered if annexing could be a
> viable solution to inject those data files into a regular GIT repository
> allowing for optional 'getting' upon necessity, and without re-tailoring
> repository structure (i.e. where data files should go, since often they
> are spread around).

Yes, I think so. The key-value backend could be used to get those files
from a centralized place, too, rather than from other git-annex
repositories. For example, the URL backend could be used to pull them
from a web server on the intranet.

see shy jo
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